Don't see too many guys posting about kite building, so I thought I'd post a pic of my first go at making a kite. Haven't had a chance to see how it flys yet. It's wasn't too difficult once I learned to sew. Very time consuming, but I think most of the kiteboard I've built have been pretty time consuming as well. Just something else to think about for all you DIY builder out there. I used Surfplan to design and print plans if your interested. www.surfplan.com.au. There is a free download you can play around with.
Yes, thats a little rip in the canopy in the last pic. My dog ran across it while I was sewing it. It's been patched since the pic was taken.
Nice work man!
What was the cost and what was your source for materials?
I've done basic repairs gotten some dacron rip stop and thread from sailmakers supply but never done too much with it.
What did you use for a sewing machine (will a basic unit cut the mustard)
This project is definitely on my bucket list but strikes me as insanely complicated to get it to fly well and I'm still behind on about 3 boards I keep meaning to build.
I searched around on the internet for different sources. Best source is probably sailrite.com. I ended up getting surplus materials from a textile company. Dacron for leading edge and struts. I used coated ripstop nylon for the canopy. I got the nylon for a $1/yrd and the dacron for $5/yard. Fabric is not as good as commercial kites, but didn't want to spend a lot of money on the first go at making a kite. If this one flies well, I'll spend the money on the better stuff on the next one. New Bladders/valves can run the cost up pretty quick. I ended up using ones from an old kite.
Just a normal sewing machine. that can do straight stitch and triple zigzag stitch. Use double sided tape to keep slippery panels together while sewing.
Looks like you learned how to sew very well..kudos. Is it ckite or some bridle action? I made 2 ckites back in the early days of surfplan and they were fine but hesitate to get involved with all the bridle cascades....
Ok. got it int he air this past weekend. It few and didn't rip into several pieces, so I'm happy with that. I did get a lot of fluttering on the trailing edge as the kite went through the power zone. I looked at it more closely and I think my stitching of the ribs onto the canopy was off. Not a real smooth airfoil over the canopy causing turbulence on the trailing edge.
The kite I designed was based off the north rebel. 5 line kite, simple bridle system. I measured it to be around a 9m. Test flight was in 15mph wind and it flew ok. Not exactly 9m weather, but fine for flying on the beach.
I think about the first board I ever made. It worked, not great by any means, and look pretty ugly but pretty satisfying knowing your riding something you made. I think thats why we all make our own stuff.
Fun project, learned a lot about sewing ,and maybe one day I'll try to make another one with better material/construction/sewing.